Sanremo Song Festival gets off to flying start

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The Sanremo Song Festival got off to a flying start on Tuesday, with President Sergio Mattarella getting a standing ovation as he attended the much-loved event for the first time and Oscar-winning director and actor Roberto Benigni paying homage to the Italian Constitution on its 75th anniversary.

Benigni pointed out that, if all the countries of the world had adopted the Constitution, which states that Italy repudiates war, humanity would have put conflict behind it.

Other highlights were veteran pop star Gianni Morandi singing the national anthem and top influencer Chiara Ferragni reading a letter to her child self in which she stressed that being a woman is not a limitation.

Tuesday’s opening night attracted an average of 10.757 million viewers to State broadcaster Rai’s flagship channel, 62.4% of the audience share, compared to 10.911 million viewers and an audience share of 54.7% on the equivalent evening last year.

The week-long festival, which runs until Saturday, revolves around a best-song competition.

A national institution that inspired the Eurovision song contest, it helped launch the careers of many of Italy’s top music stars, such as Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini and Maneskin The winner gets to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Singer Marco Mengoni was top of the standings of the 2023 competition after the first night.

Italian singer Blanco performs on stage at the Ariston theatre during the 73rd Sanremo Italian Song Festival, in Sanremo, Italy, 07 February 2023. The music festival will run from 07 to 11 February 2023. EPA-EFE/ETTORE FERRARI

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